Burger maker settles for nothing but the best

By TYLER BARTON/Montana State News

It’s the end of a busy day. Jonathan Heap is wearing a black chef’s coat, still greasy from the day’s service. A bandana is tied around his forehead to keep the sweat out of his eyes. Athlene Heap is wearing a white coat, along with a tidy chef’s cap. Both are cleaning up after a hard day’s work, scrubbing grills and scouring dishes. The kitchen still sizzles with the residual heat of cooking, signaling only hotter days to come as the summer approaches.

There is not much room to maneuver inside the kitchen. It is, after all, only a school bus that has been refit with cabinets, drawers, grills, and more. Jonathan’s head nearly touches the ceiling as he stands over the stove, cleaning away.

They are tired but satisfied.

Jonathan and Athlene, a married couple and owners of the Heap Burger, have one mission: to make the finest burgers in Bozeman.

The Heap Burger bus is hard to miss. If you’re driving down Oak Street, you can spot it with even the most casual northward glance, resting in the Kenyon Noble parking lot where it permanently resides. It’s big, bold, and unmistakably bright red—a school bus repainted and repurposed into a restaurant. Continue reading “Burger maker settles for nothing but the best”

Lawmakers nix human trafficking legislation

By JORDAN SPARR/Montana State News

The 2017 Montana legislative session rejected two bills directed toward fighting human trafficking when worries arose over complicating issues for which laws are already in place.

House Bill 378 was written to revise criminal laws which regard minors and human trafficking, while House Bill 379 set to revise laws requiring escort services and similar industries to verify identities and store records of employees at the risk of a penalty for non-compliance.

House Bill 379 specifically addressed people who advertise on websites such as Backpage and Craigslist with photos for the purpose of marketing. House Bill 278 would have made a change in specifying that exposing a minor to prostitution in any form is illegal.

While trying to crack down on human trafficking in Montana as much as possible, opposition to the bills were centralized around the idea that these revisions needed further revision, and that they didn’t add anything of real value to the existing legislation on the issue. Continue reading “Lawmakers nix human trafficking legislation”

Human trafficking is a Big Sky country problem

By JORDAN SPARR/Montana State news

Montana has seen 315 phone calls to the Human Trafficking Hotline since 2007 from witnesses reporting alleged cases of the crime. The most prevalent form of trafficking taking place through prostitution. The Human Trafficking Hotline has been taking in phone calls and generating statistics on the subject since its inception on Dec. 7, 2007. In 2016, the hotline received 52 separate calls, 15 of which were reports on human trafficking cases.

Looking through the available hotline statistics from 2012 to the present reveals an interesting trend. In 2012 there were 30 calls, 2013 saw 41 calls, 74 calls in 2014, 66 calls in 2015, and the aforementioned 52 calls in 2016. While a steady rise in calls is obvious through the progression of calls over time, the transition from 2015 to 2016 shows a drop in the amount of calls as well as reported cases of human trafficking. Continue reading “Human trafficking is a Big Sky country problem”

We are shaped by the places we inhabit

By BAY STEPHENS/Montana State News

The way humans change the places they inhabit has been a constant topic since the West began to be settled by Europeans. Towns were built, rivers were dammed, native tribes were pushed out. What tends to be thought of less is the inverse: how the environments we inhabit shape and mold us.

Each individual is shaped and molded by family, community, physical buildings and the wider landscape as a whole. All of these influences contribute to what Mark Hufstetler calls “a sense of place.”

Hufstetler is a historian and Montana adventurer who carries a sense of indomitable optimism. Despite being fresh off a four-hour drive from the Flathead region, he was chipper and conversational as the din and bustle of Bridger Brewing carried on around. The Acony Belles string trio playing bluegrass ballads behind him.

“It’s not necessarily always fashionable to say that you are a product of your environment,” he said between sips of his McTavish Scotch Ale, “but in a lot of ways, you really are.”

It can be seen in his own life. Born in Ogden, Utah, Hufstetler’s father worked for the Forest Service living mainly in Idaho and Wyoming. “I grew up in a series of small towns in the West, basically,” he said. Continue reading “We are shaped by the places we inhabit”

City’s history mostly boom with little bust

By TIM STOVER/Montana State News

Bozeman, Montana, is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation.

However, looking at its rich history and vibrant figures, it’s clear that Bozeman has experienced rapid growth since its beginning.

Starting even before Bozeman became incorporated, the city underwent its architectural and urban development phase, the Township Phase from 1864-1872.

According to the city of Bozeman website, organized planning of the town came about “… by a need for a supply center for the booming new mining camps in the Montana territory.”  Simplicity was the goal of the town at that time.

According to the city of Bozeman website, “… most buildings were constructed of simple materials and simple methods. …” Functionality was the only objective. Montana miners were had flooded the area and needed dwellings and establishments to provide for them as easily as possible.

Leading up to its incorporation in 1883, the city of Bozeman underwent a village phase from 1873-1883. This phase was based entirely around transcontinental railroad coming to Bozeman.  Continue reading “City’s history mostly boom with little bust”

In mountains, on roads, biking takes center stage

By CULLAN STAACK/Montana State News

No matter what kind of bicycle you ride, southwest Montana will keep you happy with in-town trails, long smooth roads and beautiful vistas to choose from. Endless possibilities exist when it comes to mountain biking; the only limitations are the type of trail and level of challenge you’re looking for. Whether it’s a smooth, fast downhill rush or a thigh-burning, lung-searing ascent (or both), it’s all just a short distance from Bozeman.

In communities across Montana, bicycling and walking are safe, everyday, mainstream activities. Bicycling and walking are recognized, accommodated and funded as legitimate and essential modes of transportation.

Montanans enjoy an enhanced quality of life, a cleaner environment, and better health as a result of the commitment to bicycling. After all, who wouldn’t want to enjoy the fresh air and big skies of the Treasure State by choosing to ride instead of drive? Montana is also a model for innovative bicycling and walking facilities and programs.

The history of biking in Montana traces back to the Bike Walk Montana organization. Although it has a short history, Bike Walk Montana has a long-term vision of making Montana a safer and more accessible state for bicycling and walking. Continue reading “In mountains, on roads, biking takes center stage”

Cycling more than a pastime for enthusiast

By CHELSEA ANDERSON/Montana State News

From my seat in the coffee shop, I see him approach on his commuter bike. Despite the rainy weather, I’m not surprised to see Kyle Rohan show up to our interview on a bike. He sets a bright helmet on the table, asking, “What would you like to know about biking?”

Rohan is a graduate student at MSU who got into road racing when he was earning his undergraduate degree in Florida. Rohan was first interested in biking for the commuting aspect. “One day when I was riding the bus, I saw a guy on a bike pass the bus, and I was like, ‘That. That is who I want to be.’”

After initially getting interested in biking, Rohan found himself interested in competitive racing. “Road racing is a lot different in a concentrated place like Florida than it is here in Montana. For one thing, more people are involved in it,” he says.

Rohan joined the cycling team at his university and began seriously training for races: “When you’re taking racing seriously, you have to spend around 25 hours a week on your bike training.” In addition to the large number of hours of training required to be successful in the sport, collegiate racing involves a large number of hours traveling to races. Continue reading “Cycling more than a pastime for enthusiast”

Tuition increase will pose challenges for student

By RANIA AMPNTEL CHAFINT/Montana State News
Wearing a blue Montana State University (MSU) hoodie and an MSU basketball cap, Sean Weber has been involved in various roles on campus.

Weber was a student supervisor at the MSU Alumni Foundation, a resident advisor for MSU Residence Life and the president of the Chinese Culture Club, to name a few. Despite his commitment, Weber is at risk of dropping out in the face of the looming possible 21 percent tuition increase.

Weber, 24, has been involved with various initiatives on campus. In the past, he has lobbied for the renovation of Romney Hall in Helena and has taken on a role within the Associated Students of Montana State University (ASMSU). Weber’s connection with MSU runs long in his family.

From Palmdale, California, Weber is second generation MSU student.

“My father was MSU class of ’80 and I visited [MSU] often growing up,” Weber said with a smile, explaining proudly that his father gave him the cap he wore when he was in middle school. “It seemed like an adventure.” Weber enrolled at MSU five years ago to pursue a degree in international relations with a minor in Chinese studies.

To Weber, MSU was an affordable alternative to universities in California. Continue reading “Tuition increase will pose challenges for student”

U-system tuition increase hiatus ends

By VIRGINIA HOLST/Montana State News

Montana State University (MSU) is about to raise tuition and break a trend of slower tuition increases than the rest of the country for 10 years now.

Since the Legislature’s approval of House Bill 2, which cuts funding to the entire Montana University System (MUS), including MSU and other state Universities which will be increasing tuition.

The hike seems drastic, but when compared to similar universities across the country, such as Colorado State University (CSU) and the University of Wyoming (UW), other universities have increased their tuitions more rapidly than their counterparts in Montana.

“Over the past ten years the MUS has increased tuition at slower pace than any other state in the nation,” according to the Montana University System website.

In comparison, both CSU and U. of WY have seen dramatic climbs to both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates in the past ten years. Below are two graphs comparing each university’s annual tuition rates, for both in and out-of-state students, to their annual undergraduate enrollment. Continue reading “U-system tuition increase hiatus ends”

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